The Story of Winston

 

Winston Spencer Churchill - such a dynamic man, historical figure and larger than life legend. I admire Winston and years ago, decided that my next pet would be named after the renowned world leader. I know I know, you don’t pick a name and then get the kid! I can’t exactly explain why it happened that way - it just did. I adopted my cockatiel Winston Spencer Churchill in May 2007 and was told he was about 6 months old. I’d previously had two parakeets so I had a little bird experience and I love birds. I bought the book “Cockatiels For Dummies”, read it cover to cover because I’d see things that were strange to me - such as the first time he hung upside down with his wings spread out like a bat...sign of being happy. The book was invaluable at times like those!

 

I’m not really a good trainer, I admit it, so my bird is not what I’d call tame. But we do have interesting experiences together and I love him. He learned to perch on my shoulder and would fly to me especially if I had popcorn because I would share! Sadly he’s no longer able to fly because of a shoulder injury but he’s still my love. About 4 years into our life together, things changed. When I would come home from work in the evening, I could hear Winston squawking before I came through the door because he was happy to see me. This particular day, no sounds from my bird... I came into the room to find him on the bottom of the cage, puffed up and as I approached the cage, he was hissing at me. Worried as to what was wrong, I put my hand near him which meant I might be bitten and as he went to ward me off, an egg roll out from under him....

 

For 4 years, I thought Winston Spencer Churchill was a boy and he turned out to be a girl!!! You can’t visibly tell without a DNA test and I wanted a boy so I wouldn’t have to possibly deal with eggs.

 

Needless to say I was stunned. I think I was speechless which is a rarity as anyone who knows me will tell you! I’d just come home from getting my hair cut and called Annette my hairdresser/bird consultant. She was busy with another customer when I realized she was working on my mom. I told the person that answered the phone to tell Annette that an egg rolled out from under my bird and I heard her in the background say “well tell her it’s a girl “! Over the course of the next week, my bird was evil and every other day laid another egg. There were 5 in all and I didn’t know how long this evil bird phase would last. Consulting the great oracle (no not the oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett) “Cockatiels For Dummies”, it said in about a week she’d lose interest and she did. I had my bird back.

 

Over the next few years there have numerous eggs but that’s not happening now - thank heaven! My mom still says “he” because it’s confusing! No, I didn’t change the name!

 

Winston, England’s Prime Minister during her darkest hours, would probably be honored!!!!